Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Buildings of San Miguel de Allende – Part 5

In this photo essay I will show some of the colourful and wonderful architecture of San Miguel. The town population is about 80,000 not including the outer developments which brings the total population about 140,000. About 20% are expats and English speaking.

There are no front lawns or even being able to see back yards and therefore the looks inside as you walk along the streets is always filled with little wonders.

While I collected many images of the great and varied doors in San Miguel, there is a local photographer who has made a wonderful book on just such a theme.

Some homes may look desolate on the front, but are still very well kept inside.

The majority of buildings are painted very vividly and color is one item they don't seem afraid of being bold with

Only a few homes have strong rich colors. More have the muted terracotta and yellow as seen in the photo below.

A typical street near the central part of town with more business ventures out of their buildings. It seems almost everyone who has a front door also has a store of some sort.

It seems that almost everyone photographs this building. Why not, as it sure tells you where you are.

The next series, which will be the last, is more of a potpourri of photos.

Niels Henriksen

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

People Getting Around in San Miguel de Allende – Part 4

The previous set of images that dealt with the subject of people from San Miguel were more from a tourist perspective.  Those subjects that grab your attention. Almost demand to be photographed.

I also thought that the following set of photographs had a demand for attention. From many people I've met here in San Miguel there is this understanding of 'Mexican time'.  For all things, it generally takes  longer and can be further delayed at any time.

With Fed Ex being known for its speed, I couldn't help but notice the context of the old bent man in his blue jacket, sitting with his walker beside this sign. Is this an employee waiting for his next delivery? His orange peels also tie connection back to dual color sign.

It almost seems perfect when a complimentary color walks into the field of view. I like this version better because the door balances out nicely with the man. Whereas the other photo with the windows along the wall didn't quite match the image.

San Miguel is a city built like a taco shell. Open ends and step sides. The church 'La Paroquia' is situated on a knoll itself on one of the sides.  Therefore, most of the city streets are steep and cobblestoned. At times, I find walking tiresome. I just couldn't quite believe it when a person went cycling by on a leisurely pace up one of those steep streets.

On another part of town there was a man delivering some sort of goods to local stores while using a laden down donkey as his delivery vehicle. Several days later I saw, in more residential parts of town, a man with 6 fully loaded donkeys like below.

This man on a horse in historic dress is actually an on-duty policeman of San Miguel. As far as I can tell, there are 2 of these officers in town.

The building might be interesting by itself, but with the people we now have all 6 primary colors of  Red-Orange/Yellow/Green/Blue/Purple. The interesting part with the people is that they are all in different modes of transportation.

San Miguel is known for its strong bright colours. These can at times be all mashed together in one block.  The red scooter adds to the dominance of the bold window on the red wall.


Niels Henriksen

Monday, April 11, 2011

People of San Miguel de Allende Mexico– Part 3

The first two articles showed photos that a tourist would normally expect to see in and around San Miguel. They do show that San Miguel is a very vibrant and diverse town. Like most towns, its not just about the colourful buildings or its natural surroundings, it's also the daily life.

It seems that almost every weekend, sometimes even during the week, there is some sort of festival underway which eventually winds up in the main town centre, 'Le Jardin'.
On one Friday there was a large school cultural event which I think was in its 4th year, at least with my best translation.  There where hundreds of kids in colourful transitional costumes. Each group took turns on stage performing their routines.

 These 8 boys were waiting patiently, which isn't normal for most boys, for their turn on the school stage that had been set up in 'Le  Jardin'.

It's great when you can catch those unexpected movements like the boy above hanging around under the stage. The sun is always very strong and hot so any place to get in the shade is a good thing.
 The girls on the other hand have no trouble showing off and posing for a photo shoot.

 The  people come in many different outfits from what's on their face to the clothes they wear.

There are many beggars throughout the downtown core. It's obvious that they are poor, especially with the average daily wage in Mexico of $15.00US. But the troubling part is that during tourist season,  some men drop off their wives, kids and even their mothers to beg 12 hours a day. Some women even have babies cradled in their arms. There are very young children sitting all day in the same spot  with their mothers not doing anything. It seems such a waste.

But whichever way you look at it, they are poor and a helping hand is always a good thing.

There are many other people who manage to get around and seem somehow to earn money from the tourists.

Some people don't have a regular place to work and can be found working in the streets.

This lady may look frail but I bet she can out walk me.

Some people bring the pets to Le Jardin because I guess there is not already enough colour around.

Niels Henriksen


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